Program Found to Increase Flu Vaccination Rates

Campaign includes multiple vaccination sites and monitoring of vaccination status
By A. Agrawal, PhD
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Through methods such as multiple vaccination sites and online monitoring of vaccination status, a campaign to increase flu vaccination rates among employees and health care workers at Johns Hopkins has proven effective, according to a study in the February issue of Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.

Xuguang (Grant) Tao, M.D., and colleagues from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, examined the effectiveness of an influenza immunization campaign administered to 40,000 employees at their institution, including 10,763 health care workers, during the 2008 to 2009 academic year.

The researchers found that 16,079 vaccinations were administered, of which 94.5 percent were given during the first seven weeks of the immunization campaign. A survey of 1,084 (10 percent) health care workers chosen at random showed that, while the overall vaccination rate was 71.3 percent, the rate was 82.8 percent for workers with direct patient contact. The most common reason for declining the vaccine was receiving the vaccine elsewhere.

"The methods used to increase participation in the recent immunization program were successful, and a randomized survey to assess participation was found to be an efficient means of evaluating the work force's level of potential immunity to the influenza virus," Tao and colleagues conclude.

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